Recipe Review

These 20-Minute Pork Chops Are So Delicious, I Made Them Twice Last Week (Everyone Fights Over the Sauce!)

published Apr 20, 2024
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Credit: Joe Lingeman

Even as the editor of a food site, I’m victim of getting into a cooking rut during the week. Everyone who makes a majority of their meals M-TH themselves (Friday is pizza night in our house don’t even try to get me in the kitchen) can relate that figuring out dinner after dinner that checks all the boxes is exhausting. It’s gotta be minimal ingredients — have you seen prices at the grocery store lately?! — agreeable with everyone you’ll be serving (a wild card 2-year-old for me), and not take more than 30 minutes. That’s a tall order!

Fortunately, we have a seemingly endless supply of recipes that fit this bill on The Kitchn, whether it’s the clever two-ingredient chicken I make most weeks, the apricot jam-glazed chicken I cook other weeks, or the brilliant three-ingredient Caesar chicken that uses a jar of dressing as the ultimate flavor bomb. OK but I don’t eat chicken every night of the week, even though it may seem like that. 

On days when I don’t want chicken, I’ve been turning to a new dinner that I’ve been telling all my friends to make: these Creamy Mustard Pork Chops. (I’m sure my texts have come across as “Have you heard of this protein called pork chops?!”) I can’t even begin to tell you how delicious this one-pan dish is, but I will try. 

Credit: Joe Lingeman

Why This Recipe Really Works

Pork chops and mustard are an obvious combination; we know they go together like peanut butter and chocolate. Apples also make an appearance here in the form of apple juice (or cider, if you can find it), which lends sweetness as the base of a super-quick pan sauce.

The sear-roast method is my go-to for chicken and steak, so why not pork chops? You first sear the boneless chops on the stove to get flavor going, before transferring to a plate and working on a quick sauce. Once everything goes into the oven together, you just have to measure a couple more key ingredients: creamy Dijon and heavy cream. 

So first Dijon: This recipe might seem fussy because it actually calls for two types of mustard. I’m a mustard lover so I have both kinds — whole grain and creamy — in my fridge at any given moment. And it’s totally worth not skipping one for depth of flavor and sharpness. (But subtly sharp — the apple juice mellows it out with a little sweetness!)

The cream at the end is what takes this to the next level. It makes the pan sauce luxuriously creamy, like something you’d get at a restaurant, but it only takes you a handful of ingredients and 30 minutes. Definitely the type of idea that can bust anyone out of their cooking rut.